To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Couple ordered to tear down home extension because it's two inches from neighbours' house

Couple ordered to tear down home extension because it's two inches from neighbours' house

Shabaz Asraf and his wife Shakira have also been ordered to pay £200,000 in legal fees

A couple have been ordered to tear down their £80,000 extension and pay £200,000 in legal fees after it was built a mere two inches over the boundary with their neighbours.

Shabaz Ashraf, 45, and his wife Shakira, 40, were ordered to remove the extension on their £700,000 London after their next-door neighbours accused them of building on their land deliberately, which led to ‘damp and mould’ in their home.

The Ashrafs estimated they spent £80,000 to replace an extension in 2019 on the back of their house which was installed in the 1970s. However, their neighbours, Avtar and Balvinder Dhinjan complained because the replacement extension was inches over their boundary.

Shabaz Ashraf and his wife Shakira were taken to court over the extension issue.
Champion News

The next-door neighbours complained that the new extension stretched 2.68 inches onto their land, with the roof overhanging 3.86 inches.

Mr Dhinjan claimed his neighbours had ‘intended to annoy’ him and his family by building over the boundary between their homes.

Although the Dhinjans admitted the ‘encroachment’ over the border was small, the Dhinjans said the new extension made their own house damp and ‘mouldy’ because it was so close to their wall, leaving little room for air circulation outside.

The Dhinjans sued the Ashrafs at Central London County Court and demanded an injunction to force their neighbours to demolish the encroaching wall.

The Ashrafs defended their extension and claimed they built it on the blueprint of the original 1970s footprint, suggesting that any encroachment must have already been going over for over 40 years which gave them squatters’ rights.

However, barrister Rachel Coyle - who represented the Dhinjans - told the judge that the extension rebuild in 2019 went over the footprint of the old extension which affected the outer wall of their neighbour’s house.

The Ashraf's home (right).
Champion News

“There was an encroachment which, while de minimis [minimal] in valuation terms, causes significant injury to the land belonging to the claimants," she said.

“The defendants' continued course of conduct intended to annoy.

“Only removal and building it where it should be will prevent mould and damp, failing which the claimants' extension will become virtually uninhabitable.

"The injury is not one that can be compensated in money."

A judge ultimately ordered for the Ashrafs to tear down the extension, finding that Mrs Ashraf had said to her neighbours during a row over the issue: "If you think we have come over, then go to court."

The judge said: "One of the sad features of the case is that before the parties began building new extensions to the rear of their property, they lived in harmony and were on good terms.

"The defendants say they built the wall in exactly the same position as the previous wall, which was in position for 41 years. I find that that is, to the defendant's' knowledge, wholly untrue."

Avtar Dhinjan (right), with his son Gurpeet outside court.
Champion News

The judge continued: "The joint expert surveyor concluded in his report there was an encroachment of 68mm.

"I can see from the pictures that the breeze blocks have been built outside the existing boundary, so the notion that they built inside the existing boundary line is not sustainable because the pictures show where the existing boundary line is. Their new wall is clearly outside that wall.

"The wall erected by the defendants is encroaching on the claimants' land.

"The claimants put their case for an injunction on this basis. They say this is a case where the defendants acted in a high-handed manner throughout and have deliberately overridden the claimants when they were saying there was an encroachment on their land.”

Not only will the Ashrafs have to pay their own costs, the judge also ordered the couple to pay their neighbours' legal bills, estimated at almost £100,000, with £49,009 up front.

Lawyers outside the court estimated that the case cost £200,000 in total. In addition, the Ashrafs will have to face the costs of knocking down and rebuilding the extension.

Featured Image Credit: Champion News

Topics: Home, Life, Real Life, News